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Shakira hails music platforms for helping to make the industry ‘more democratic’

Shakira arrives at the annual Ivor Novello Songwriting Awards at Grosvenor House in London (Yui Mok/PA)
Shakira arrives at the annual Ivor Novello Songwriting Awards at Grosvenor House in London (Yui Mok/PA)

Shakira has hailed the importance of music platforms for emerging talent as she feels it helps artists showcase their music and makes the process “more democratic”.

The Colombian singer-songwriter, 45, recalled how when she was starting out in the music industry as a teenager that there were “gatekeepers” who would decide if a song was worth playing or not.

Speaking on the red carpet at the Ivor Novello Awards in central London, which celebrates songwriting and composition, she also revealed that she has finished a new album which has a dance and reggaeton feel to it.

Shakira told the PA news agency: “There’s so much talent out there and I’m glad that today there’s so many platforms that new songwriters and new creators are taking advantage of.

“When I started my career as a songwriter and a producer and singer it was harder because I had to knock every door and it was hard to make sure that people knew about your work and get exposure.

“But today, I think that technology has facilitated that in so many ways.

“And it’s more democratic, a lot of people can really showcase their talents and they don’t depend on the gatekeepers.

She continued: “A lot of people back in the day, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, were deciding who to play on the radio or not.

“They were the gatekeepers of the industry, they would decide if a song was good to play or not but today it’s people themselves who decide who makes it and who doesn’t.

“So I feel that’s pretty democratic.”

Ivor Novello Awards 2022
Nile Rodgers was in attendance at the Ivor Novello Awards in London (Yui Mok/PA)

Shakira noted that streaming platforms do have drawback as well as positive elements but feels that things which “take a lot of determination and time” usually have “more longevity”.

The singer recently released a new song titled Te Felicito which she revealed was a “family project” as her children came up with the storyline for the music video.

She confirmed to PA that there will be more music on the horizon as she has completed a new album which features a number of collaborations and has influences from electronic, dance and reggaeton styles.

Shakira was in attendance at the Ivor Novello Awards at Grosvenor House in London alongside some of the biggest names in British music including Nile Rodgers, Rag’n’Bone Man and Sam Fender.

Chic frontman Rodgers, who is chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, told PA he feels the rising talent of today are “extraordinary”.

The Grammy award winner, 69, said: “People, they don’t understand that as time marches on the quality of talent gets better and better because they get to stand on the shoulders of the giants that preceded them, so I think everybody’s just getting better and better.”

The American musician also said he feels that songs have become “more expressive” following the pandemic period as artists were able to tap into their emotions, not only in that moment but in the “way that we want the world to be”.

Adele, Ed Sheeran and Dave are among some of the top talent nominated at the prestigious music awards.

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